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official statement from Lexis-Nexis about P-Trak
This statement was issued today:
STATEMENT FROM LEXIS-NEXIS 9/18/96
Incorrect information is being distributed on Internet newsgroups regarding
the data displayed in LEXIS-NEXIS' P-TRAK file. P-TRAK is like an
electronic "white pages." The only information displayed is the name of the
individual, current address and up to two previous addresses and telephone
number. In some cases, the individual's maiden name may appear and as well
as the month and year of birth. That is the ONLY information displayed in
the P-TRAK file.
Contrary to some messages that have been posted to some Internet discussion
and news groups, the P-TRAK file DOES NOT contain any credit histories, bank
account information, personal financial data, mother's maiden name or
medical histories. This misinformation has been posted over and over again
to various news groups.
An example of a record appears below:
Name: DOE, JOHN E
Current Address: 1066 Anywhere Drive, Dayton, OH 95454
Previous Address: 106 Somewhere Drive, Dayton, OH 92454
Telephone Number: 555-1212
On File Since: 6/1/1994
The information displayed in the P-TRAK file is the type of information
readily available from public information sources such as telephone
directories (in print and CD-ROM format) and public records maintained by
LEXIS-NEXIS markets the P-TRAK file to the legal community for use by
general legal practitioners, litigators and public attorneys, as well as law
enforcement agencies and police departments. These professionals use the
P-TRAK file to assist in locating litigants, witnesses, shareholders,
debtors, heirs and beneficiaries.
LEXIS-NEXIS is aware of the sensitivities regarding the potential misuse of
information. Business competitors of LEXIS-NEXIS have for some time made
Social Security numbers available to users of their services. In addition,
Social Security Numbers and other information are available on the Internet
from a number of sources. Despite this wide availability of Social Security
numbers in the market place, LEXIS-NEXIS discontinued the display of Social
Security numbers in the P-TRAK file as of June 11, 1996, eleven days after
the product was introduced.
Through its actions, LEXIS-NEXIS is balancing the privacy concerns of the
public with the legitimate needs of legal, business and government
professionals for access to accurate sources of publicly available
information. By discontinuing the display of Social Security numbers in
P-TRAK and only providing information that is already available to the
public from other sources, LEXIS-NEXIS believes it has responsibly met the
expressed concerns of the public.
Individuals interested in having their names removed from the P-TRAK file
can e-mail their full name and complete address to:
[email protected] or mail this information to ATTN: P-TRAK, P. O.
Box 933, Dayton, OH 45401.